Regulated repression governs the cell fate promoter controlling yeast meiosis

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Intrinsic signals and external cues from the environment drive cell fate decisions. In budding yeast, the decision to enter meiosis is controlled by nutrient and mating-type signals that regulate expression of the master transcription factor for meiotic entry, IME1. How nutrient signals control IME1 expression remains poorly understood. Here, we show that IME1 transcription is regulated by multiple sequence-specific transcription factors (TFs) that mediate association of Tup1-Cyc8 co-repressor to its promoter. We find that at least eight TFs bind the IME1 promoter when nutrients are ample. Remarkably, association of these TFs is highly regulated by different nutrient cues. Mutant cells lacking three TFs (Sok2/Phd1/Yap6) displayed reduced Tup1-Cyc8 association, increased IME1 expression, and earlier onset of meiosis. Our data demonstrate that the promoter of a master regulator is primed for rapid activation while repression by multiple TFs mediating Tup1-Cyc8 recruitment dictates the fate decision to enter meiosis.

Journal details

Volume 11
Issue number 1
Pages 2271
Publication date